Bridge rules Bridge strategy & bidding Bridge championships

Polish Club

Polish Club (Polish: Wspólny Język, literally "Common Language") is a bridge bidding system which was developed in Poland, where it is the most popular bidding system, and which is also used by players of other countries. It is a type of small club system.

In the Polish Club, a 1♣ opening bid is forcing for one round but does not necessarily show a strong hand; in most versions of this system it shows either a weak balanced hand (about 12-14HCP), a natural 1♣ opening or any strong hand. Consequently bids of 1, 1 and 1♠ are limited to about 18HCP, and also 1 shows at least four diamonds (five in some versions of the system).

The 2♣ opening is usually reserved to show a limited hand with long clubs and possibly a 4-card major, similar to the Precision 2♣ opening.

The following outline of the system is based on that given in System licytacyjny Wspólny Język 2005 - opis skrócony ("Polish Club 2005 - a brief description") by Krzysztof Jassem.

1♣ opening

  1. 12-14 HCP, no 5-card major, no 4-card diamond suit. Five clubs are possible if the hand is balanced. Opener should not bid clubs on the next round - even in competition.
  2. 15-17 HCP, five clubs, unbalanced distribution. Opener bids clubs in the next round.
  3. 18+ HCP, any distribution.

1♦ response

  1. negative: 0-8 HCP. In the 7-8 HCP range, Responder should not have a 4-card major (the response of one of a major is 7+HCP, the 1NT response is 9-11 HCP).
  2. 9-11 unbalanced; either both minors (5-4), or one poor minor. (The hand does not qualify for any of the responses: 1NT, 2 in a minor, 3 in a minor).
  3. 12-16 HCP balanced without a 4-card major. The hand is not suitable for declaring no trumps.
1♣ - 1
1/1♠ = better major (3 cards is possible)
1NT = 18-19 HCP, balanced
2♣ = 15+ HCP, natural
2 = artificial GF, exclusive of 2-suiter hands
2, 2♠, 3♣, 3 = 5+ in the bid suit, semi-forcing
2NT = 22-24 HCP, balanced
3/3♠/4♣ = GF, 2-suiter (5-5):
3 - with hearts, then Responder’s 3♠ shows preference over hearts, 3NT asks for a minor, 4♣, 4 are cue bids with agreed hearts, 3♠ - spades and a minor, then 3NT asks for a minor, 4♣, 4 are cue bids, 4♣ - minors.

1♥/1♠ responses

7+HCP, 4+ cards, can have longer minor if less than GF

1♣ - 1/1♠
2♣ = 15+, one-round force, then Responder’s 2 forces to game.
2 = Relay, 18+ HCP, promises at least 3 cards in Responder’s major.
2 = (After 1♠ response) 5+, (18+ HCP), GF
2NT = 18+ HCP, (semi-)balanced, denies 3-card support in Responder’s suit.
After 1♣-1/1♠-2, Responder bids as follows ("Bubrotka"):
2 = 7-10 HCP, 4 cards in the bid major
2♠ = 11+ HCP, 4 cards in the bid major
2NT = 11+ HCP, at least 5 cards in the bid major
3♣, 3 = 9-11 HCP, 5 in the bid minor, 4 in the bid major
3 = 7-10 HCP, 5 cards, unbalanced (then 3♠ asks for a shortage, 3NT asks for a side suit)
3♠ = 7-10 HCP, 5332 with 5 in the bid major
3NT = 7-10 HCP, 6 cards in the bid major

1NT response

9-11 HCP, no 4-card major

1♣ - 1NT
2♣ = natural, 15+ HCP, GF
2, 2, 2♠ = 5+ cards, 18+ HCP, GF

2♣/2♦ responses

5+ cards, GF, can have 4-card major

2♥/2♠ responses

Strong jump shift (semi-solid suit)

2NT response

12+ HCP, GF no 4-card major

3♣/3♦ response

Good 6-card suit, invitational (9-11 HCP)

3♥/3♠ responses

7-card suit with 2 high honours, nothing outside

1 opening

4+ cards, 12-17 HCP possible canape: 4 diamonds; 5 clubs are possible if weak (12-14 HCP)

1/1♠ openings

5 cards, 12-17 HCP

Responder’s 2NT is forcing after the suit is repeated. 1 1♠/1NT 2 2NT = forces to 3 of a major; opener shows shortage, and 1♠ 1NT 2♠ 2NT = forces to 3 of a major; opener shows shortage Two-over-one response - forces to three of that suit.

Rebidding the suit by Opener shows a minimum and does not show length. 2NT rebid by Opener shows strength (15-17 HCP).

Two types of Splinter bids 1 - 3♠ = any shortage, 9-12 HCP (then 3NT asks shortage) 1♠ - 3NT = any shortage, 9-12 HCP (then 4♣ asks shortage) 1 - 3NT = spade shortage, 12-16 HCP 1/1♠ - 4♣, 4, 4 (after 1♠) = bid shortage, 12-16 HCP Drury-fit by a passed hand 2 of the bid major is the weakest rebid. Jump shift by a passed hand - invitational (9-11 HCP)

1NT opening

15-17 HCP

Opener’s 2 does not deny four spades. Responder’s subsequent bidding is natural: forcing at the 3-level, non-forcing at the 2-level. Also: 1NT - 2♣; 2 - 2♠ = invitational (7-9 HCP), 5 spades, 4 hearts, and 1NT - 2♣; 2/2♠ - 3/3 = transfer, agrees Opener’s suit, GF

Transfer to hearts (2) does not deny five spades. Responder’s new suit at the 3-level forces to game. Also: 1NT - 2; 2 - 2♠ forces to 3 (8+ HCP)

2♣ Opening

Precision: 5 clubs and a 4−card major, or 6 clubs, 11-14 HCP

2 opening

Weak two in a major (limited Multi), 6+ cards, 6-11 HCP.

Opener bids: 3♣ = good opening, 3 relays and 3 shows spades. 3♠ shows hearts. 3 = hearts, minimum opening 3 = spades, minimum opening

Opener bids 4♣ with hearts and 4 with spades if the invitation is accepted.

2/2♠ openings

Polish two−suiters, 6-11 HCP.

2NT opening

5-5 in minor, 6-11HCP.

3NT opening

Gambling (no stopper outside)

Conventions in an uncontested auction

Jump shift

Strong, semi−solid suit, slam interest

Fourth suit

Invites to game after an initial one-over-one response. Responder may pass in the subsequent bidding but Opener may not. Fourth suit forces to game after a two-over-one response.

Third suit

If Opener raises the third suit, that promises four cards in the suit and denies a stopper in the unbid suit. 3NT bid by Opener shows four cards in the third suit and promises a stopper in the unbid suit.

Forcing 2NT

Responder’s 2NT is forcing after a two-over-one response.


After a 1♣ opening and a response in a major, 2 is Odwrotka (a "fit reverse"), that shows an 18+ hand, a fit, and asks responder to describe his hand. Jassem recommends replacing WJ2000's "Odwrotka" with the "Bubrotka" responses above.

2♣ - check back

Weak with clubs or game invitational, or game forcing Opener’s rebids:

Responder’s continuations: 3♣ signs off. 2 in the bid major is non-forcing (10-12 HCP). Other bids (including 2NT) are game forcing.

En passant

In an uncontested auction, stoppers are shown. In competition, bidding the opponent’s suit asks for a stopper. If opponents bid two suits, bidding the higher-level suit promises stopper in the lower-level suit.

Slam bidding

Roman Key Card Blackwood 1430

5♣ = 1 or 4 5 = 0 or 3 5 = 2 or 5, no kings 5♠ = 2 and a king, etc.

Exclusion Key Card Blackwood (1430 responses)

After trump agreement, an unusual jump shift at the 5-level (or 4♠ when hearts are agreed) asks for key cards, exclusive of the ace of the bid suit.


The cheapest bid after key cards are shown asks for kings. The next cheapest bid shows no kings, etc.


Kind of Josephine; asks for the number of high honours (ace, king or queen) in trumps 6♣ = 0, 6 = 1, etc.

Cue bids

First− and second−round controls are treated as equals

Splinter bids

Weaker and stronger types after 1/1♠ openings 1 - 3♠ = weaker Splinter (9-12 HCP), any shortage, 3NT asks 1 - 3NT = regular Splinter (12-16 HCP), spade shortage 1♠ - 3NT = weaker Splinter, any shortage, 4♣ asks 1/1♠ - 4♣/4/4 = regular Splinters (12-16 HCP)


An unusual shift jump agrees bidder’s own suit only if Partner has not shown any suit.

Six in the Splinter suit

Asks partner to bid the grand slam with a void in the splinter-suit.

Interference after Blackwood

DOPI. Double = 0, pass = 1, the cheapest bid = 2 keycards, etc.

Competitive bidding

Over opponent’s takeout double

Opener bids before Responder: this shows a minimum if the bid is cheaper than two in the opening bid, but shows extras otherwise.

Over opponent’s overcall

Support bidding after Partner’s 1♥/1♠ opening is overcalled

2NT promises good support (usually 4 cards) and forces to game. Direct cue bid is game-invitational, or game forcing with flat distribution and defensive values.

After Partner’s 1NT opening is overcalled

After Partner’s 2♦/2♥/2♠ opening is overcalled

Negative double

Through 4 Negative doubles include, apart from standard agreements, forcing hands with a weak 5-card suit and - after 1/1♠ opening - invitational no-trump hands.

When the second defender overcalls

Defensive bidding

No−trump hands

After 2♦ artificial opening (Multi or Wilkosz)

Second hand’s double is for takeout of spades. Pass and then double after 2/3 in the next round is for takeout of hearts:

2 dble 2 dble = responsive
2 dble 2♠ dble = punitive

Fourth hand’s live double is for takeout:

2 pass 2/2♠ dble = takeout of hearts/spades respectively

Direct cue bid

Michaels cue bid - unlimited

Jump cue bid

Jump cue bid shows either a solid suit and asks for a stopper or shows any game-forcing one-suiter hand.

Versus strong 1 NT opening

Versus weak 1NT opening

Double is for takeout. Other bids show the same shape as versus a strong no trump and promise opening values.


Leads and signals